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In ancient Roman history, one of two political arrangements in the late Republican era, called the first triumvirate and the second triumvirate. Both served as a way of balancing the power between military and political rivals (Gaius Iulius Caesar and Pompey, Marcus Antonius and Octavian), and both were successful for a time. Each one was a means of delaying, but not preventing, an inevitable civil war.

Under the aegis of RumourQuest 2006, I'm going to lay down some truth for you. See, things aren't as peachy keen as "they" would have you believe. Things are happening here. Things that will be very unpopular. E2 is changing in big ways, and it is up to you and me to stop it. This is why I, along with some of my other fellow senior noders, have formed a ephemeral organization called the Triumvirate. First, let me lay some history down on you:

A long time ago, there was this great empire ruled by bunch of Italian dudes that lived in Rome. Under this empire, the known world was brought to heel, roads were built, savages were crucified, and grapes were stomped. It was all good. The people of Rome were happy. In their happiness, they grew complacent about their leaders. Their leaders, as has happened to leaders since time immemorial, grew corrupt and entitled, cruel and capricious. The once glorious Roman Empire began to suffer. Enter, the First Triumvirate.

Roman society was not entirely lax. Three powerful men, Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, took it upon themselves to redirect the will of the Roman Empire from outside the regular channels of power. They held no special status within the halls of the government, but instead exercised control over the Mob, ordinary Roman citizens that indeed held the true power in the Republic. Between 60 and 53 BC, they made things right.

After that, it all when to Hell. But that's neither here nor there.

What does that have to do with E2? Well, lately, there have been changes. Subtle at first, but they have crept in, like some sort of insidious cancer. The famous "Raising of the Bar" is the milestone we use to reckon events. Think about it. Back when the standard of writing was actually going up. When daylogs and GTKY nodes where spit upon like gypsies in copper lit streets. When the Old Gods rained fickle curses and blessings around like wildfire. Heady days they were, my friend. Then, something happened. Something bad. Something that nobody wants to talk about any more. The old guard, the people from Holland, Michigan that built this place from the ground up started to fade away. Names like thefez, and nate started getting sparse. The usual row of @ symbols started to thin out. Mutterings about changes started to filter down to the users... then, darkness.

The troubles really started during the Big Outage. The reason we were fed was that the servers where being moved to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. What was really going on was a legal battle between the original creators of the Everything2 engine, the so called mutants group. Who or what it was all about, I don't know. What I do know is that the site came back... different.

It was subtle at first. New gods, new editors, new directives. Kinder gentler direction. The rescinding of the "raising of the bar". The new acceptance of day logs. The disappearance of the Everything Death Borg. The recording of the catbox by ascorbic's off-site logger...

That's the straw that broke the camel's back. The E2 of old seemed to have been replaced by an old pod person. I recall doing a full on Donald Sutherland "O" scream and pointing at the monitor from across the street.

This wasn't right.

More bizarre happenings... happened. Dem Bones "retires" scant months after leaking the "The New E2" concept, his final April Troll's Day being the rather unfunny "Google buys E2" concept. The server instability, the constant invasive googlebottings, and finally the transfer of the reigns to a Canadian citizen, Lord Brawl. Seemingly unconnected, random events that fell into a somewhat convenient schedule. "They" hadn't expected me to be paying attention. "They" started to get sloppy. I finally unraveled their monstrous plan.

Google had in fact bought E2. The "Holland Outage" allowed the legal wrangling to finish and saw the server transferred to a Google data farm. Catbox logging kept the firebrands under heel. The massive bottings cataloged our collective input. The ownership hand over to a Canadian citizen? Jurisdiction change that negated old copyrights.

Why does Google want E2? Advertising copy. I've seen my own words come up in everything from toothpaste to car loan ads. They are marketing with your words.

The time of the Triumvirate had arrived. At first, I considered Asamothing my nodes and leaving it all behind, content to be written off as another old timer that lost the taste for noding, but now I couldn't be sure that my nodes would stay deleted, if you know what I mean. I sent out feelers, careful to establish a catbox persona that painted me as a harmless eccentric, not to be considered a threat to the New Googlian Order. I found others that held new pieces to the monstrous puzzle. A certain German bank employee that had seen the accounts that laundered the ill gotten Google advertising cash, and an author that endured a bizarre copyright lawsuit over his previously e2 available works. This user had also been privy to the secrets of the gods group before being cruelly robbed of his buttons. We decide to band together to try to haul the whole house of cards down around our ears to get the truth out. Thus, the Triumvirate was born.

Why am I writing this here? Truth is, this unsanctioned quest, like HateQuest 2006 before it, is a part of what the Google catalogers call the "chaff", the section of nodeshare that doesn't have the profitability margin needed to gobble up and spew all over the Internet. They see it as a "necessary evil" in order to keep the fresh nodes coming. I write this here, at great personal risk to my self and the others in our Underground for one reason: to let you know that you are not alone.

We Remember the True E2. Together, We will take it back. Vi Veri Vniversum Vivus Vici. Join us!

for RumourQuest 2006... or is it?

Tri*um"vi*rate (?), n. [L. triumviratus: cf. F. triumvirat.]


Government by three in coalition or association; the term of such a government.


A coalition or association of three in office or authority; especially, the union of three men who obtained the government of the Roman empire.


© Webster 1913.

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